Almost six months ago, the Weisenhorn Youngsters were battling in a do or die playoff game against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors, but on this night three pointers were flying around the BCM gym with accuracy as if the recipients of adding to their three point scoring stat could have been guys like Ray Allen or Reggie Miller something which would have been a dream for the fans, but in reality on this night, the farm team of BBL team Fraport Skyliners didn´t need these legends or any others as they had fine shooting specimens with Canadian Travis Thompson and Lithuanian Tomas Dimsa who added the most damage and at the end of the game the club had dropped 17 trey´s. The 109-93 loss sent Weissenhorn home for the summer, but many of the BBL license players still had their season prolonged with their success in the playoffs where they reached the final. Weissenhorn fought very hard and never gave up, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors just had one of those games where everything they released found the netting as if it had been released into the ocean as the ease at which they were going in was apparent. German U-20 national player David Kramer did all he could dropping 28 points in the loss and probably didn´t forget this crazy game so easily either. Kramer returned back to an old point stomping ground, but he didn´t leave the building as a winner last season losing twice and now finally wanted to get that monkey off his back and depart as a winner. Both the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and Weissenhorn Youngsters entered the game with 1-1 records whereas Frankfurt belonged to the top defensive teams in the league, while Weissenhorn was averaging 80 points on offense and belonged to the top half of best rebounding teams. Weissenhorn was looking for revenge from last season while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had many of their veterans from last season and biggest German talent since Dennis Schroeder so expectations were high for both sides. However Weissenhorn had their noses in front all game long and always had to succumb to Frankfurt comebacks, but their hard edged rebounding and timely shots in the fourth quarter helped them win 75-65. After the win, an exhausted David Kramer was laying on his back and must have been reliving some of his past misfortune in this adorable gym, but when he got up, he was all smiles as he had finally won there. He finally had his three is a charm as he had had misfortune the last two years in Frankfurt. “I always like coming and playing in the BCM, because I know that there will be exciting games here. After they kicked us out of the NBBL two years ago and last season out of the Pro B playoffs, we finally got revenge here. Frankfurt always has quality teams and for us to get this win today will give us a lot of self confidence for the next games”, warned Weissenhorn guard David Kramer. Nobody could question the fighting qualities of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors, but they had many phases where they lacked concentration and were torn apart under the boards. “A big problem for us so far this season has been not being able to all practice together as a team. The systems are the same, but we just need to practice more and we will get better. Rebounding was our biggest problem today and that is something where each player has to work on”, stressed ex Ehingen center Mahir Agva. “We controlled the game and were able to play our game. We rebounded very well and played good defense. We did have some lucky breaks, but that belongs to the game”, added David Kramer.
Harley Fuller is a 23 year old 188cm point guard from Gloversville, New York. He started his basketball career in 2006 at Cobleskill Junior College where he played until 2008. In 2008-2009, he played for Florida Intern. (NCAA): 23 games: 1.7ppg, 1.7rpg, 1.1apg, FGP: 41.0%, 3Pts: 32.0%. In 2009-2010, he played for Molloy (NCAA2): 30 games: 8.9ppg, 6.6rpg, 6.0apg, 2.0spg, FGP: 41.4%, 3Pts: 28.8%, FT: 74.6%. Last season, he started his professional basketball career in Germany for TuS Treis-Karden (Germany-Regionalliga): 16.3ppg, 6prg, Assists-1(6apg), FGP: 56.0%, 3Pts: 40.0%. This season, he played for BG Illertal/Weissenhorn (Germany-ProB) where he averaged 12,7ppg, 3,1rpg and 2,9apg before leaving the team recently. He spoke to German hoops about his experience with BG Illertal Weissenhorn.
What wishes do you have for 2012? I guess not reliving a half season like you had in Weissenhorn?
My wishes for 2012 are to sign with an organization that is invested in winning and nothing else. That is the type of player I have always been and always will be. I just want to win. If I have to score 25 then I’ll do that, If I have to have 9 assists and 12 points then that is what I’ll do and have always done. So my wish would be to sign with an organization that wants to win as bad as I do.
When you came to BG Illertal Weissenhorn last fall, did you ever imagine that the team would go 1-13 in the first half of the season during training camp?
No, there was no signs of us having an unsuccessful season in training camp. We had a great month of training camp with a great coach Rainer Bauer who I respect and everyone including me had a great deal of confidence in. Everyone was working hard, and it was obvious that talent wasn’t an issue for our team. We were picked preseason to move up! So i’d say no one saw an unsuccessful season coming, including me.
Uwe Sauer played at Santa Clara university where NBA superstar Steve Nash also played and enjoyed a very successful basketball career in Germany from 1985-1997 winning titles with Cologne and Bayreuth and being the youngest German playing at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984. After his playing career, he became a coach. He was assistant coach for SSV Ulm from 1997.-1999. He then coached in Tuebingen from 1999-2003. He then coached for BG Karlsruhe from the 2003-2006 season. Since then he coached clubs like the Mitteldeutscher BC, The Teckpro Braves in Kaiserslautern and recently BG Illertal-Weissenhorn. He spoke to German Hoops about the past, present and future about basketball.
Uwe thanks for talking to German Hoops. You coached BG Illertal-Weissenhorn recently. What was your summary of the 10-11 season?
We had a great season and did a lot better than most people expected. We finished in 6th place and made the play-offs, that was a big success for the young franchise of BG Illertal.
You have coached mainly division one and two teams in your coaching career. How much of a challenge is it coaching a PRO B team and younger players?
It was a very big challenge for all of us since we played with the youngest and most inexperienced backcourt in the whole league. But they responded well and really improved over the course of the season and made this a fun year. It was great to see the young players develop and be a part of them growing up as players.